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  1. #21

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    Started at Springer 04/07/2018; snow and low 20's the first night; but the most miserable was on 04/15 at Bly Gap. Mid teens, 40+ mph winds, snow blowing sideways ! Too dangerous to camp on the ridge, so we hunkered down in the "no camping" area below the ridge. It will be cold at night for sure in mid April; be prepared. I found Georgia challenging, but not too difficult. Starting out, I really took my time , and enjoyed the hike. There are a few nice vistas, especially Blood Mt, but nothing like you would experience further up the trail. If you are in decent shape, and are targeting 8-10 mpd, you shouldn't have too many problems. If you start in May, I would expect less crowds and obviously warmer temperatures.

  2. #22
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    01-17-2019
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    Thanks Captain Panda, that was very useful info! A number of people suggested starting in Erwin, TN. I'm thinking that might be a better starting point. Would the weather still be as challenging in that area? Again, my section hike would take me where ever I can get to in a 3 week space of time.

  3. #23
    Registered User pahiker013's Avatar
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    12-31-2008
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    Raleigh, NC
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    Agree Captain Panda, I used to live in PA and there aren't the views like you have farther North or South around Erwin.

  4. #24
    Registered User Tennessee Viking's Avatar
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    04-10-2007
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    GA to Mt Rogers area is awesome.
    ''Tennessee Viking'
    Mountains to Sea Trail Maintainer
    Former TEHCC (AT) Maintainer
    Falls Lake Trail: 2011

  5. #25

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    Hot Springs to Grayson Highlands.

  6. #26
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    08-28-2007
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    I'd three wk gap April and May with perhaps the last wk in April and two wks in May. This takes advantage of better weather. It will still be mixed but the highest risk of lasting snow and deep frigid cold should be over yet not be consistently blazing hot and humid. I'd hike with spring probably NOBO to experience the botanical wildflower and flowering tree splendor that is the AT aiming to be behind the AT NOBO bubble. I'd go in knowing I'd be contending with thru hikers but strictly not organizing my three wks based around AT shelters. If wanting to avoid the thrus those who suggested starting further north above the thrus and hiking against the grain of their travels could be a worthy alternative.

    Damascus to Hot springs(about 200 m) or Damascus to Fontana Dam(300 m) or HF SOBO. I'd try to get in Grayson Highlands/Mt Rogers area, either or both the NP's, or Roan Mt area( if hiking until the end of May, you may start seeing the earliest Rhododendron and some flame and Carolina azalea bloom). For a Horticulturalist I never knew the extent of the AT wildflower bloom and the flowering trees. I got to understand what it meant to hike with spring. It opened up my eyes of the natural wonder that exists and in some ways is easy to destroy. I gained more appreciation for this corridor sliver than I could have ever imagined had I not experienced it over a long duration. It is truly magical.

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